ISIS finds footing in Malaysia

SHAFAQNA – 26-year-old Malaysian woman who has joined the Islamic State (IS) group in Raqqa has called on Western Muslims to “terrorize” non-Muslims in their home countries.

The woman, who tweets under the name “Shams” and who writes a blog under the name “Bird of Jannah” (Bird of Paradise) about her experiences in Islamic State-controlled Raqqa, says she is a doctor who made hijrah (a pilgrimage) to join the militant group in February 2014.

In a series of tweets on March 20, Shams addressed those Muslims who are living in “Dar ul-Kufr” (‘the lands of the infidels’), urging them to band together.

“If you’re still in darl [sic] ul kufr then find those who are on the same side. Form group and movement,” Shams tweeted.

When they have sufficient numbers, Western Muslims should then strive to take control of local lands, Shams instructed.

“Get stronger. And when you have large number of people, gained power…then take control over [sic]! Learn from your brothers in Libya,” she told Western Muslims.

If Western Muslims are not able to take control, Shams said that they should not let the “kuffar” (infidels) and “munafiq” (hypocrites who outwardly practice Islam but who are secretly unbelievers) live in peace.”

“Terrorize them as how they terrorized us,” Shams tweeted.

Shams’ message to Muslims in the West and those living elsewhere in countries that are not under Islamic State rule reflects other messages from IS militants from Western countries.

The overall theme — that Muslims should come to Islamic State controlled lands to fight, but if they are not able to do so, they should commit acts of terror against “infidels” at home — has been repeated numerous times in videos released by the militant group.

Shams’ call for Western Muslims to take action also contains another narrative common to other messages put out by Islamic State militants — that Muslims are being “terrorized” and persecuted both in the West and by Western powers in Syria and Iraq.

‘Expanding Caliphate’

The message aims to both promote a common cause, which sets the wider Muslim community apart from non-Muslims, and to provide a justification for attacks.

A French militant “interviewed” by British Islamic State hostage John Cantlie in February said that Muslims in France should rise up and commit acts of terror because while they are “sitting on their couches…Muslims are being slaughtered in every corner of the globe.”

In an earlier video, released in November, a French militant addresses Muslims in France, saying that by staying in that country they are strengthening its economy by paying taxes that are used to “fight our sisters, our women and our children.”

Western governments are imposing laws on Muslims and forcing them to use their passports, the militant says, before calling on French Muslims to “terrorize” civilians.

In her March 20 tweets, Shams not only calls on Muslims to carry out attacks at home, but says that the expansion of IS-controlled lands will make it easier for them to leave home and join the militants.

“Good news for all of you. Islamic state [sic] is expanding. If you cant [sic] fly to Syria or Iraq… then go to Libya! Or Nigeria or Somalia,” Shams tweeted.

Shams’ message referred to the recent oaths of allegiance to the Islamic State group sworn by militant groups in Libya as well as the Nigerian group Boko Haram. The Somalian extremist group Al-Shabab, however, has deep ties to Al-Qaeda. While some analysts have said that there is an interest in parts of Al-Shabab to align with the IS group, other experts say that the Somalian organization is unlikely to go down the same path as Boko Haram.


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